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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 16 July-22 July 2008.


















 Activity for the week of 16 July-22 July 2008

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program. Updated by 2300 UTC every Wednesday, notices of volcanic activity posted on these pages are preliminary and subject to change as events are studied in more detail. This is not a comprehensive list of all of Earth's volcanoes erupting during the week, but rather a summary of activity at volcanoes that meet criteria discussed in detail in the "Criteria and Disclaimers" section. Carefully reviewed, detailed reports on various volcanoes are published monthly in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network.

Name Location Activity
Cleveland Chuginadak Island (USA) New
Galunggung Western Java (Indonesia) New
Llaima Chile New
Okmok Fox Islands (USA) New

Batu Tara Komba Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Bezymianny Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Etna Sicily (Italy) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Pacaya Guatemala Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
St. Helens United States Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Cleveland  | Chuginadak Island (USA)  | 52.825°N, 169.944°W  | Elevation 1730 m

On 21 July, AVO raised the Volcano Alert Level for Cleveland to Watch and the Aviation Color Code to Orange based on reports from pilots and observers on fishing boats. Reports from fishing boats indicated that an eruption started at about 1200 and ash near sea level may have drifted NW. Pilots reported that an ash-and-steam plume rose to altitudes of 4.6-5.2 km (15,000-17,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. Observations of satellite imagery on 22 July revealed a steam plume possibly containing some ash drifting more than 50 km ESE at altitudes of 3-6.1 km (10,000-20,000 ft) a.s.l. A strong thermal anomaly interpreted as a possible lava flow was also present in the imagery.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Volcano index photo  Galunggung  | Western Java (Indonesia)  | 7.25°S, 108.058°E  | Elevation 2168 m

Based on a pilot report and inconclusive observations of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 17 July a possible ash plume from Galunggung rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW. CVGHM did not report eruptive activity and advised that the activity status was "normal."

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Llaima  | Chile  | 38.692°S, 71.729°W  | Elevation 3125 m

SERNAGEOMIN reported that after increased seismicity at Llaima on 14 July, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 5.6 km (18,400 ft) a.s.l. Less than two hours later, very intense orange and red incandescence was seen through breaks in the cloud cover near the summit and at the base of the W flank. At 1915 a vigorous Strombolian eruption ejected incandescent pyroclastic material from the N vent in the main crater to heights of 500 m above the summit. Seismicity and the intensity of the explosions decreased later that day. On 15 July, diffuse ash emissions rose to an altitude of 3.4 km (11,200 ft) a.s.l. Ash and tephra covered areas of the SSE flank. Seismic activity decreased during 16-18 July.

On 19 July, seismicity again increased and ash-and-gas plumes rose to an altitude of 3.3 km (10,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. The emissions became more intense and frequent, and one explosion produced an ash plume to an altitude of 4.1 km (13,500 ft) a.s.l. Ash and tephra fell on the SE flank. Later that day, constant explosions ejected incandescent material 500 m above the summit that fell near the crater. Steam plumes emitted from the W flank possibly indicated the presence of a new lava flow along with mobile incandescent blocks from a previous lava flow. After another brief period of calm, vapor emissions increased and were followed by strong explosions and lava flows. The Alert level remained at Yellow.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



Volcano index photo  Okmok  | Fox Islands (USA)  | 53.43°N, 168.13°W  | Elevation 1073 m

AVO reported that during 15-16 July seismicity from Okmok changed from nearly continuous to episodic volcanic tremor, and the overall seismic intensity declined. Satellite imagery indicated elevated surface temperatures in the NE sector of the caldera; meteorological clouds obscured views. On 16 July, the Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Watch and the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Orange. On 17 July, a pilot reported that an ash plume rose to altitudes of 4.6-6.1 km (15,000-20,000) a.s.l. and drifted E and NE. On 18 July, AVO indicated that the eruption was episodic, with occasional ash-producing explosions occurring every 15 to 30 minutes. The plumes from these explosions were limited to about 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l.

On 19 July seismicity increased markedly, interpreted as possibly indicating that ash plumes rose to altitudes of 7.6-9.1 km (25,000-30,000 ft) a.s.l. The Volcano Alert Level was raised to Warning and the Aviation Color Code was raised to Red. The next day, seismicity declined again and the Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Watch and the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Orange. Satellite imagery revealed that an ash plume about 20 km from Okmok drifted SE at an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. Additional ash plumes observed on satellite imagery and spotted by pilots rose to altitudes of 4.6-6.1 km (15,000-20,000 ft) a.s.l. During 21-22 July, ash plumes rose to altitudes of 6.1-9.1 km (20,000-30,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Ongoing Activity


Volcano index photo  Batu Tara  | Komba Island (Indonesia)  | 7.791°S, 123.585°E  | Elevation 633 m

Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 16-18 July ash plumes from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. A thermal anomaly was noted on satellite imagery on 16 July.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Bezymianny  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 55.972°N, 160.595°E  | Elevation 2882 m

KVERT reported that intermittent volcanic tremor at Bezymianny was detected on 11 July and seismic activity was above background levels during 11-16 July. Weak thermal anomalies over the lava dome were detected in satellite imagery on 11 and 15 July. Hot avalanches were reported by local observers on 15 July. The level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Chaiten  | Chile  | 42.833°S, 72.646°W  | Elevation 1122 m

SERNAGEOMIN reported that after two weeks of inclement weather around Chaitén, clouds cleared on 18 July and ash plumes were observed. During 18-21 July mushroom-shaped ash plumes emitted from the S sector of the new lava dome rose to an altitude of 2.5 km (8,200 ft) a.s.l. Occasionally, explosions would push the plumes to altitudes of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. The plumes drifted N and NW, affecting several areas on the coast. The Alert Level remained at Red.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



Volcano index photo  Etna  | Sicily (Italy)  | 37.748°N, 14.999°E  | Elevation 3295 m

INGV-CT reported that an inspection of Etna's summit craters on 15 July revealed degassing from the Northeast Crater and to a lesser degree from the BN-1 crater of the Bocca Nuova. Explosive activity was restricted to Vent 2 of the active NW-SE-trending fissure E of the summit craters and characterized by weak Strombolian activity and diffuse ash emissions. During 15 and 17 July lava flows were active in the Valle del Bove. On 17 July, no explosive activity was seen along the fissure.

Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)



Volcano index photo  Kilauea  | Hawaiian Islands (USA)  | 19.421°N, 155.287°W  | Elevation 1222 m

Based on visual observations from HVO crews, video footage, pilot reports, and web camera views, HVO reported that during 16-22 July, lava flowed SE through a lava tube system from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex. The lava flowed into the ocean at the Waikupanaha ocean entry resulting in occasional explosions and a vigorous steam plume from contact with the water. Lightning was sometimes seen in the steam plume. Incandescence was observed from the TEB vent, rootless shields, breakouts along the W margin of the TEB lava tube, and from vents and sporadic spatter in Pu'u 'O'o crater. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at Pu'u 'O'o was very high at 6,300 tonnes per day on 17 July; the average background rate is about 2,000 tonnes per day.

During the reporting period, Kilauea earthquakes were located beneath the summit area and beneath Halema'uma'u crater, along S-flank faults, and along the E and SW rift zones. Beneath Halema'uma'u crater, another 20-40 small earthquakes per day also occurred but were too small to be located. The vent in the crater continued to produce a white plume with minor ash content that drifted mainly SW. Night-time incandescence was seen at the base of the plume. Rock clattering, booming noises, and "rushing sounds" were heard in the vicinity of Halema'uma'u crater. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was high and between 700 and 800 tonnes per day, during 16-18 July. The pre-2008 background rate was 150-200 tonnes per day. On 19 July, incandescent material was ejected from the vent.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



Volcano index photo  Pacaya  | Guatemala  | 14.382°N, 90.601°W  | Elevation 2569 m

INSIVUMEH reported that during 9-16 July, Strombolian activity from Pacaya's MacKenney cone was mainly characterized by explosions approximately 2-3 minutes apart. Pyroclastic material was ejected about 25 m above the crater. Lava flowed 100-200 m down the NW flank and continued to slowly fill in the area between MacKenney cone and Cerro Chino crater to the N. On 16 July, fumarolic plumes drifted SW.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)



Volcano index photo  Rabaul  | New Britain (Papua New Guinea)  | 4.271°S, 152.203°E  | Elevation 688 m

RVO reported that during 12-18 July, ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone drifted NW and W. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind including significant accumulation in Rabaul town (3-5 km NW).

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



Volcano index photo  Sheveluch  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 56.653°N, 161.36°E  | Elevation 3283 m

KVERT reported that seismic activity at Shiveluch was slightly above background levels during 11-18 July and possibly indicated ash explosions up to 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. on 17 July. Moderate fumarolic activity was seen on 13 and 15 July. Observations of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly on the lava dome during 10-11 and 13-17 July. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Soufriere Hills  | Montserrat  | 16.72°N, 62.18°W  | Elevation 915 m

MVO reported no evidence of lava-dome growth at Soufrière Hills during 11-18 July. Seismic activity remained low. The E talus slope continued to erode, producing minor rockfalls that descended into the Tar River Valley. Following a small swarm of volcano-tectonic earthquakes on 20 July, four eruptive events each produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 2 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. The first two events generated plumes above the Tar River Valley possibly from small pyroclastic flows. Ashfall was reported in Old Towne. Rumbling noises were heard in nearby areas and lightning strikes were observed. The Alert Level remained elevated at 4 (on a scale of 0-5).

Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)



Volcano index photo  St. Helens  | United States  | 46.2°N, 122.18°W  | Elevation 2549 m

On 10 July, CVO lowered the Volcano Alert Level for Mount St. Helens to Normal and the Aviation Color Code to Green, following the cessation of lava-dome growth in late January and about five months with no signs of renewed activity. Earthquakes, volcanic gas emissions, and ground deformation were all at pre-eruptive background levels.

Source: US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO)



Volcano index photo  Tungurahua  | Ecuador  | 1.467°S, 78.442°W  | Elevation 5023 m

The IG reported that during 15-22 July, explosions from Tungurahua were detected by the seismic network. Although clouds occasionally inhibited visual observations, steam and ash-and-steam plumes were spotted and rose to altitudes of 7-10 km (23,000-32,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and SW. On 19 and 22 July, nighttime incandescence from the crater was observed. On 20 July, lahars descended NW and S drainages. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind during 19-22 July. On 21 and 22 July, explosions vibrated windows in areas NW.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



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 News Feeds and Google Placemarks


The RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed is identical to the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report minus some features including the header information (latitude and longitude and summit elevation), the Geologic Summary, and a link to the volcano's page from the Global Volcanism Program. Each volcano report includes a link from the volcano's name back to the more complete information in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report on the Smithsonian website.




The CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) feeds are XML files specifically formatted for disaster management. They are similar in content to the RSS feed, but contain no active links.




A Google Earth network link for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report can be loaded into the free Google Earth software, and in turn will load placemarks for volcanoes in the current weekly report. Placemark balloons include the volcano name, report date, report text, sources, and links back to the GVP volcano page for that volcano and to the complete Weekly Report for that week.

 Criteria & Disclaimers

Criteria

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report does not necessarily include all volcanic activity that occurred on Earth during the week. More than a dozen volcanoes globally have displayed more-or-less continuous eruptive activity for decades or longer, and such routine activity is typically not reported here. Moreover, Earth's sea-floor volcanism is seldom reported even though in theory it represents the single most prolific source of erupted material. The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report summarizes volcanic activity that meets one or more of the following criteria:

- A volcano observatory raises or lowers the alert level at the volcano.
- A volcanic ash advisory has been released by a volcanic ash advisory center (VAAC) stating that an ash cloud has been produced from the volcano.
- A verifiable news report of new activity or a change in activity at the volcano has been issued.
- Observers have reported a significant change in volcanic activity. Such activity can include, but is not restricted to, pyroclastic flows, lahars, lava flows, dome collapse, or increased unrest.

Volcanoes are included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section of the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report if the activity occurs after at least 3 months of quiescence. Once a volcano is included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section, updates will remain in that section unless the activity continues for more than 1 month without escalating, after which time updates will be listed in the "Continuing Activity" section. Volcanoes are also included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section if the volcano is undergoing a period of relatively high unrest, or increasing unrest. This is commonly equal to Alert Level Orange on a scale of Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, where Red is the highest alert. Or alert level 3 on a scale of 1-4 or 1-5.

It is important to note that volcanic activity meeting one or more of these criteria may occur during the week, but may not be included in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report because we did not receive a report.


Disclaimers

1. The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is intended to provide timely information about global volcanism on a weekly basis. Consequently, the report is generated rapidly by summarizing volcanic reports from various sources, with little time for fact checking. The accuracy of the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is dependent upon the quality of the volcanic activity reports we receive. Reports published in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network are monthly, and more carefully reviewed, although all of the volcanoes discussed in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report are not necessarily reported in the Bulletin. Because of our emphasis on rapid reporting on the web we have avoided diacritical marks. Reports are updated on the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report web page as they are received, therefore information may be included regarding events that occurred before the current report period.

2. Rapidly developing events lead to coverage that is often fragmentary. Volcanoes, their eruptions, and their plumes and associated atmospheric effects are complex phenomena that may require months to years of data analysis in order to create a comprehensive summary and interpretation of events.

3. Preliminary accounts sometimes contain exaggerations and "false alarms," and accordingly, this report may include some events ultimately found to be erroneous or misleading.

4. Many news agencies do not archive the articles they post on the Internet, and therefore the links to some sources may not be active. To obtain information about the cited articles that are no longer available on the Internet contact the source.

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Information presented on this website is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credit is requested. We strongly recommend that USGS data be acquired directly from a USGS server and not through other sources that may change the data in some way. While USGS makes every effort to provide accurate and complete information, various data such as names, telephone numbers, etc. may change prior to updating. USGS welcomes suggestions on how to improve our home page and correct errors. USGS provides no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of furnished data.

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RSS and CAP Feeds

An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report first made available on 5 March 2008 can be utilized with the aid of various free downloadable readers. The report content of the news feed is identical to the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report minus some features including the header information (latitude and longitude and summit elevation), the Geologic Summary, and a link to the volcano's page from the Global Volcanism Program. Each volcano report includes a link from the volcano's name back to the more complete information in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report on the Smithsonian website. On 12 March 2009, GeoRSS tags were added so that the latitude and longitude for each volcano could be included with the feed.

At the end of each individual report is a list of the sources used. We would like to emphasize that the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) website (http://www.wovo.org/) lists the regional volcano observatories that have the most authoritative data for many of these events.

CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) feeds are XML files specifically formatted for disaster management.


Google Earth Placemarks

A Google Earth network link for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report was first made available on 1 April 2009. This file can be loaded into the free Google Earth software, and in turn will load placemarks for volcanoes in the current weekly report. Placemark balloons include the volcano name, report date, report text, sources, and links back to the GVP volcano page for that volcano and to the complete Weekly Report for that week.

 Acronyms and Abbreviations

a.s.l. - above sea level

AVO - Alaska Volcano Observatory

AVHRR - Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer

CENAPRED - Centro Nacionale de Prevencion de Desastres (México)

CONRED - Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres

COSPEC - Correlation Spectrometer

CVGHM (formerly VSI) - Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation

CVO - Cascades Volcano Observatory (USGS)

GMS - Geostationary Meteorological Satellite

GOES - Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite

GVO - Goma Volcano Observatory

GVP - Global Volcanism Program (Smithsonian Institution)

HVO - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS)

ICE - Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (Costa Rica)

IG - Instituto Geofísico (Ecuador)

IGNS - Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (New Zealand) - now GNS Science

INETER - Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (Nicaragua)

INGEMMET - Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico (Peru)

INGEOMINAS - Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería (Colombia)

INGV-CT - Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - Sezione di Catania (Italy)

INSIVUMEH - Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hidrologia (Guatemala)

IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (France)

JMA - Japanese Meteorological Agency

KEMSD - Kamchatkan Experimental and Methodical Seismilogical Department

KVERT - Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team

M - magnitude

METEOSAT - Meteorological Satellite

MEVO - Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory

MODIS - Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer

MVO - Montserrat Volcano Observatory

MWO - Meteorological Watch Office

NEIC - National Earthquake Information Center

NIED - National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (Japan)

NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTAM - Notice to Airmen

OVDAS - Observatorio Volcanologico de los Andes del Sur (Chile)

OFDA - Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance

ONEMI - Oficina Nacional de Emergencia - Ministerio del Interior (Chile)

OVPDLF - Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (France)

OVSICORI-UNA - Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional (Costa Rica)

PHIVOLCS - Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philippines)

RSAM - Real-time Seismic Amplitude Measurement

RVO - Rabaul Volcano Observatory

SERNAGEOMIN - Servicio Nacional de Geologia y Mineria (Chile)

SIGMET - Significant Meteorological Information

SNET - Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (El Salvador)

SVERT - Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (Russia)

USAID - US Agency for International Development

USGS - United States Geological Survey

UTC - Coordinated Universal Time

VAAC - Volcanic Ash Advisory Center

VAFTAD - Volcanic Ash Forecast Transport And Dispersion

VDAP - Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (USGS)

VHP - Volcano Hazards Program (USGS)

VRC - Volcano Research Center (Japan)